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sleight king
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Ok guys I need help. I have my first paid kids show. 45 kids I have the props and learned them but I don't really have jokes and I don't wanna finish 20 minutes early. What are good time wasters or bits of business? Show is in 3 days
PROFED
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Give us some information about you and what you intend to do and we mayh be able to help. If you want jokes- get a joke book or two at the Library. You probably really want some help with patter to go along with your effects. How old are you, what character or impressions of you are you presenting to the audience. What props or routines are you performing?
muzicman
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There is no way you will be able to learn good jokes and "bits of business" in 3 days. You will need to rely on your ability to entertain and take advantage of any opportunity that occurs during your show to help extend it. My bests shows have been "ad-lib". I can certainly understand your nervousness with 3 days to go and worrying about the "time fillers".

If it's any consolation, when I worried about the same thing, I discovered my shows went extremely quick in my mind, but slow against a clock. In short, I aimed for 45 minutes and the show went over an hour and I didn't even get to present all my routines. I embellished on any situation to help extend the show and it went too long. I opted to go right into the grand finale once I realized I was into overtime.
magicalaurie
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I think seeking "time-wasters" is a bad sign. No time in your show should be considered wasted. Time-users, spenders, perhaps, but "wasters" presents a dangerously negative perspective. Not conducive to entertainment. Smile Hope the audience won't see the show as time wasted. May sound fussy, but attitude and perspective DO make a difference and word choices indicate those. Good luck.
Brian Lehr
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Muzicman makes some very good points about having some good interaction with the children. Depending on the age, you can say certain humorous lines. For younger children (4-7 yrs), when you ask their age and grade (if in school), announce the age and grade to the audience, but mix up the numbers ("Susie is in grade 7 and she's two years old!"). She, and all the kids, will be quick to correct you.

Mix up colors when naming them; put a hat on a child, and then pull it down over his head "without noticing" ("Oh no! His head has disappeared!"). Have a child hit you in the tummy with a wand. Etc.

Have fun; play with the kids; be silly; use your imagination. But whatever you do, please, please, *please* don't ever call it "timer wasters"! If you're doing *anything* to waste time during a show, then you are stealing your customer's money when they pay you!

Everything you put into a show, the tricks, the props, the routines, the bits of business, and yourself (especially yourself) -- everything -- is an investment into a child's life, an investment that will pay dividends for years to come.

You are just starting out, and I congratulate you. It is very nerve-wracking! But as Mr. Nike says, "Just do it!" Go in there, have some fun, do some great magic for the kids, learn from the experience, and evaluate it afterwards. Ask yourself some questions after the show: What went well? What didn't? When little Bobby said or did this, what could I have said in response? Did something I say or do strike the children as funny? (Remember these things, and try them again in another show; these things soon become part of who *you* are).

Keep us posted, and let us know how things go.

BTW, check out the Little Darlings Index. There's a section in there called Kidbiz, that discusses various lines and bits of business you can do with children.

All the best,
Brian
Harv
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Just got my first paid show....I have the tricks but absolutely no patter. My show is tomorrow! This really starts to get SOOOOOO boring after a while.
Steve V
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Please, oh please, video tape your show and put it up for us to watch...
Steve V
muzicman
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Harv, I certainly don't understand your comment. What is boring?? Your show without patter?

If you can't work an audience with your charm and wit alone, there isn't a prop or patter that is going to compensate for that. You will need to present your magic in the most entertaining way to hold their attention. Sometimes it's patter and side business and sometimes it's not. Flowing back and forth seemlessly between important words or phrases and "filler material" is not really something you are going to learn in 3 days. The best advice would be just have fun. Go with whatever happens and use the advice above to bring some comedy byplay into what should be an obvious situation during your show.

You know you are going to use an audience member or two. Prepare for that. ALWAYS learn their names, and use their names repeatedly. ALWAYS introduce them to the audience even if everyone already knows him/her. Make them feel comfortable while sharing the spotlight.

Make the show flow by not leaving too much dead time during or between routines. Since this is your first show, definitely tape it if you can for review and possibly others to review.

If this is something you are serious about, you are going to find out real soon the pitfalls that besiege all inexperienced entertainers. Audience management skills is a must and learning how to handle different situations definitely will take some time. Don't expect your first show(s) to be smash successes, they rarely are. Great shows take time to develop. Learning the props is important, but I personally don't believe it's the MOST IMPORTANT. What is most important is how the audience perceives you and likes you. This is done through a variety of interpersonal skills that go way beyond how to work that prop.

Displaying confidence through your voice tones and body language is also EXTREMELY important to gaining the audiences respect. There is so much more. So for your first show, just have fun and don't set your expectations too high for reactions. Even seasoned pro's tweek their routines until they get the reactions they want. It's always work in progress, striving to improve every weak area of a performance.

GOOD LUCK!
chris mcbrien
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Sleight King,
Repeat after me...
I'M NOT GOING TO DO THIS SHOW FOR MONEY.
I'M NOT GOING TO DO THIS SHOW FOR MONEY.
I'M NOT GOING TO DO THIS SHOW FOR MONEY.
Cuz if you do, you're going to turn that client off to magicians possibly forever, and that hurts us all.
You should work like a dog on your show, love every bit of it, present it proudly, find out what works and ditch the rest, then offer it up for free until people come up to you and say "you really should charge for this!".
I'm not saying "don't do the show", just be honest with your client and tell them you're trying the kid thing out...and don't feel charging is the right thing to do.
The client may walk...and may not and want to help you get some experience.
This may sound like a cold, cold shower...but I'm actually giving you some really great advice.
I'm NOT trying to tell you to stay away from kid shows, just do the research and work before you charge.
Chris
chris mcbrien
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I feel I need to add something to this,and I can't edit it now.
I don't want sleight king to feel like the show's going to be some kind of failure. I'm just saying that charging money has it's expectations that offering a free show doesn't, thereby taking weight off of the client and the performer.
For all I know, sleight king will be a natural and do something completely off the cuff that's brilliant.
Still, please don't charge money initially until you can give them a show you know will work.
Chris
Dennis Michael
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This is got to be a joke because no one in their right mind would do this for the first time in 3-days and ask for money.

The quickest and easiest way to do this is to sub-contract the gig to a pro and sit in and learn.
Dennis Michael
Harv
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Muzicman.....if sleight king has to ask for this type of help three days before a show then he is not properly prepared to take on a paying show (IMHO). A month or two to get prepared to a certain degree I can understand, but three days....fuggedaboudit!!
p.b.jones
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HI,
Sorry guys but its the type of thing the Café brings on itself, if you don't have an act you havent anything to sell, but I know there will be those here who as usual help these people out, cause they think it makes them better people and such.
phillip
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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The problem here in lies that WE know this is dumb to try and do a show with no time to properly work the routines and get it to a point where we KNOW that it is a decent show worth someone to invest money into. WE also know that it takes time to develop a great show and one should strive to do some free shows first in order to get the proper "real-world" education that can only come from a real show performance.

However, not everyone knows this stuff. It seems so common sense, but we must learn and understand, that what is common sense to us may not be for the beginner magician who has had no mentor or who just never had anyone tell them that going about it this way is incorrect and ridiculous.

I know this sounds pathetic, but there are guys here and ladies who honestly do not understand that doing the above is just plain wrong. In this case, we must try and educate them as much as possible by not just stating "your pathetic". But really striving to teach them 1) doing a paid show with no real prep time is ludicrous and 2) that you need to develop a shpow first with routines that work and test them by offering free shows to really fine tune the performance before one ever charges for the service you provide.

An argument can also be made that this has been talked about so many times before on the Café that it is becoming a bit crazy to have to go through it all the time. Wel, yes that is true and I have been a part of a good many of them. However, we must also realize 2 things 1) people are lazy and do not use the search option like they should and 2) people new to the Café may not even realize they have this option.

Do not get me wrong here. I am totally 100% behind most people here in that you simply can and should not sell an act or show that you have not had proper time to learn, rehearse and test on a live audience and charge money for it.I am trying to shed some light on why people just may not "get it".

Hope this helps a bit.

Kyle
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sleight king
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Thanks guys - I am a close up magician by profession and very good at it so I can perform by children, and I have tried out a few of my routines and it is ready to go. Just in case something bad happens like I go far too fast or something. I was after bits of business. It could help if someone asked me the same about close up so why can't you guys help?
p.b.jones
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I could help if someone asked me the same about close up so why cant you guys help?


HI,
This is exactly what I mean you would help a person who does not have an act yet sold a client one. It does not matter whether it be a close up, stage or illusion act. First you must have an act to sell. We should really be telling the perpitrator to ring up and cancel the booking because they did not know it was foolish to book an act they never had ........ anyway I want to sell a villa in spain complete with a female companion that will meet your every need for $6000,00 P.s I don't actually own either but if someone wants it in three days time I will get one!
phillip
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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I just penciled in a cardiac-by-pass surgery for next week. I know some first-aid, and understand a bit about cardiac problems. I have no surgery experience. Can you please help me. I'm getting $250,000 for the surgery and I can't pass that kind of money up! Is this so wrong?

Quote:
I could help if soemone asked me the same about close up so why cant you guys help?


Do you have four months?
Do you have the magic props? (no card magic)
Do you have the routines written out?
Do you have Silly Billy's book?
Do you have KID BIZ by Ginn?
Do you have a Rabbit?
Do you have an illusion?
Do you have Magic Certificates?
Do you have ... and the list can go on and on.
Dennis Michael
danryb
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Kyle, Phillip and Den,

I performed at a few birthday parties when I was between the age of 12 and 16.
At the age of 21-22 I recall selling another 2 or three.

My first real show "sold" was to a five star luxury hotel when I was 22 (that is also the day before I quit my day job as a cook at another 5 star hotel).

This was 14 years ago when there was no magic Café and no internet and not even one proffessional magic shop in my area.

I had no one to turn to but my own self to gather inspiration, will and guts to do this show.

Slieghtking - I was reading my notes and remembering my lines and polishing my props and practicing my routines until I knew that every thing would go smooth.

Kyle, Phillip, Den and Slieghtking - On the way to this gig I was shaking and shivering and literaly cursing myself for taking up an art form that had me up in front of other people.
When eventualy I was standing infront of, what I called - "my first real audience", I found myself with butterflies like there was no tomorrow - I forgot some lines and had to learn to adlib. Also, I couldn't know if the audience would laugh at my expressions and humor until I tried it out.

I think that slieghtking should not be asking these questions 3 days ahead of the event but I do think that he should go out there and perform the show as promised and give the best he has.
We all know that we all have to start somewhere. He is a close up performer already and I imagine he must have done a "first" there just as we all did our own first shows.

As far as comedy and jokes - do your show according to your original plan better to keep it short and sweet and to the point rather than spicing it up and possibly killing it with a "stupid" attemp to do or say something that has not yet been practiced. Usualy, from my experience, this will only make your show longer and possibly boring.

Remember, there are no second chances - you either know that you are ready - or you downright do what the others have said and cancel yourself and get a good experienced professional to do it instead.
You should know where you stand and you should, in all fairness, know when and what to post in this forum.
We want to hear and comment on your experience and learn from what you have to give - we don't want to hear "I need a tip for tomorrows show cause I don't know what to do."

Dani
sleight king
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Thanks for your help, Dan. I needed a hand and everyone just said oh practice etc. I know this: I know all my routines and I have shown friends and they think it is ok. but what happens if the kids get restless? I can't prepare for this. As far as free shows I just don't do them anymore with anything as it does neither myself, or my bank balance any good. If the parents aren't happy I will not take payment but if anyone can tell me some good bits of business which could help it would be great.
Dennis Michael
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Good bits of busines are intertwined within the routine.

You need comedy props like comedy wands, you need knowledge of how to conduct a comedy assistant interview. You need jokes that fit the routine you are going to do.

You just cant stop and tell a joke,...A Priest, a Rabbi and a Nun, walk into a bar... type material just don't cut it.

If you're doing an egg bag, you need egg jokes or a rubber chicken and chicken jokes. While you're doing a routine you need to empower the audience and involve them. It isn't something one thinks of 3-days before a show. It does requires time.

Restless kids means they are bored and you are not involving them as a group or the effect you are doing is either above or below their level of comprehenshion.

Our comments and puns are simliar to answers to impromptu actions we receive from the kids, we deal with them in a humorous way.

You are going to do this, learn from it and improve. You're first will be an eye opener. There are no bits of business one can share because we have no clue on what you are going to do.
Dennis Michael
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